Wharram Builders and Friends

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Dear Ralf,


First let me tell a story and then I will suggest a way KAVENGA can be saved.


Nev and I were sailing in Bahamas and came upon a Chris White trimaran which looked like it was going fast even though it was anchored.  A lovely boat.  When we were invited over, we found the main hull empty of all furniture and heard that the former owner had somehow sailed the boat into rocks and, while the side hulls were ok, the deeper main hull lost its bottom which was crunched on the rocks and lost.  Luckily the boat floated on the side amas and eventually it was towed from the site of the disaster across the Gulf Stream to Florida to a marina.  After studying the situation, the owner gave up on the boat and took the insurance payment, and that was that.  But the designer,Chris White, heard about it and phoned our friend Kirk who lived in Bermuda and asked him to take a look at the boat and see if there was any way it could be saved.  At the time, it was expected to be broken up and put in the dumpster.


Chris still had the mold for the central hull and he offered to build a new lower hull  and this was transported to Florida while Kirk gutted the main hull of all its built in furniture and trimmed the broken edges of the main hull to a pre selected line so the new lower hull would fit the old upper hull.   A hefty fiberglass butt join was made on the inside and the upper and lower hull sections were bolted and glassed together.  Then new floors were made by Kirk, new bulkheads were made, and very simple furniture similar to Wharram furniture was built in using plywood.  This was all done afloat in Marsh Harbour in Abacos and the job was finished nicely by Kirk and all was painted bright and light and the boat ended up strong and lovely again.  We saw this boat sailing very fast in Bahamas on sea trials and know a man who crewed for Kirk when he took it to the UK after the repair was made and he said they made the passage in about 5 days going like a bat outa hell. 


Lower hulls of Wharrams can be built from plans by you to fit exactly to the upper hull on the Tiki designs and fasten easily at the chine  where there is already an easy place to join them together.  One can buy a Fein tool which cuts cleanly and  so this could be done by you.  The boat could be saved.  With enough good friends and a regular supply of after work beer, it could happen.  We built our lower hulls for Peace in 9 weeks. 


Ralf, we all watched on this web site and followed your progress in building KAVENGA and I sure do hope you will find enough good friends, enough courage in your own self, and enough beer to make that happen.  You worked so hard and dreamed so long, I hate to have it end like this....   Think of KAVENGA's feelings!


Ann and Nev 

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Sounds like a plan. . .

That does sound like a very gud idea from Ann & Neville, hope that u can find the drive to mend her, she is a gud lookin boat. We are all castin gud in ur direction, so that u can once again feel that wind in ur hair. 

Iain & Cherry

Dear friends, I am overwhelmed by the good wishes and and ideas which all of you have posted over the last days. I thank you all for your encouragement, it means a lot to me in this situation. Ann and Nev, I want to thank you in particular for taking the time to post your detailed idea to rebuild the hulls. I have considered something similar myself but dropped the idea because of the damage done to the upper hulls. This is not well visible in the pitures but there were some cracks at the sheerline and a big crack across the cabinside with bulkhead number 5 cracked, too. I came to the conclusion that it will be better to build 2 new hulls in order to have a fully reliable and strong boat.  When a man who is collecting pieces for an exhibition in a maritime museum came along and offered me money for the 2 damaged hulls, I gave them to him. This I have not regretted so far. The money will cover for plywood, epoxy, glass and timber to build 2 new hulls. And, yes, I will build these 2 new hulls, just need a little time to figure out the details.

I still have the 3 main crossbeams, the 4th aft crossbeam, cockpit, mast, all hatches, 1 rudder and 1 tiller, tillerbar all the gear from the boat like sails, ropes, blocks, some cleats, anchors, engine, windvane, electricity system etc.. This in my experience represents 50% of the building time and 80% of the money which went into KAVENGA. It would be a big waste not to build 2 new hulls for all that gear.

Now I need to find a new building shed were I can build both hulls at the same time next to each other which was impossible in my old shed. In a few weeks I will be on my way.

One more thing I want to tell you folks: Build your crossbeams and attachment points to plan and you will never have to worry about the general structure of a Tiki 30. The beams came out of this without a problem, they are mighty strong. A very good design!

Thanks again to all of you. It is wonderful to know you are there, whereever you are in the world.


Oh Ralf, you are WONDERFUL!

     I know how it feels to have to start again building hulls because Nev and I had to do that ourselves when building Peace.  It took our breath away when we had to cut up and burn our first hulls because the ply was not the highest quality we paid for, but badly manufactured and unacceptable seconds,  and we both cried at the loss.  But then we just gritted our teeth and made good hulls again and now we have a great boat. 

     I agree that the hulls are only 50% of the boat cost and work and by saving what you have from Kavenga I, you are already half done building Kavenga II.  With new hulls, you will have a totally reliable boat and can sail around the world if you want to with no worries.  GOOD FOR YOU!  I admire your decision greatly and I am really happy for Kavenga too. 

     I also agree about the strength of the boat design as in the plans.  The plans were well thought out for strength and safety and they are pretty too.   It really will be a faster build if you can build the two hulls together side by side as you say.  This time you will have had lots of experience building a Wharram, so the work will go faster too.  And likely more friends will want to come help you because they will know the story and want you to succeed even more than they did last time.  You see, whenever we see somebody knocked down, we just want very much to see them get up and continue on their life journey.  We just naturally want to lend a hand and see success. 

     It was interesting to see your build on this web site the last time and it will be an inspiration to see it again for Kavenga II.  

    All best wishes to you and to the boat,  Ann and Nev




Ralfmeister,when I got all flustered about my attempt at building a mast from timber that was not properly seasoned it was you who encouraged me with your advice to start again,I am indebted to you.With the extent of the damage there is only one solution which is the one you are taking.strength to your arm.

cheers paul.


 i just repaired last month the rotten hull from a trimaran( a horstmann 47) in the Philippines. the new owner bought it with out a good look in the bilge . the boat was years ago very badly repaired after a ground contact.

 8 years later everything rotten. the new owner lost the keel on his first trip after 5 Nm sailing offshore. lucky to make thi way back in the bay. the boat made a lot water and only the floater keep it up.

he put the boat on the beach and lifted it step by step out of the tide water. build concret legs under it. 

i cut with a circula saw 6m of hull under the water line off.

rebuild all bulkhead till the floor, new stringer and the backbone new and made new Double diagonal mahogany wood ( 2 times 8mm) on it. there is no quality ply in the Philippines so we had to go for solid wood.


one side closed. you see the new backbone, stringers and bulkheads.

we are cutting the over standing timber of...

second layer started. everything screwed with SS screws. the screw have been not removed later.

the gap for the keel.

the keel and fitting the keel

till this state, we in a time period of 6 weeks 150 hours (2 man). because the boat is on the beach, we could only work at lox tide.

once the new bulkheads and stringers  (backbone) was in, it was a fast job...

 the diagonal planking was 8mm timber and 8 cm wide.

 i would do it next time in 6mm, more easy to bend. there was no chance to get the wood machined down to 6mm. 8mm was the minimum.

the original hull is 12mm. we joined the first layer behind the original hull till a stringer. this gave us a kind of rebait.

than the second layer on top hill the old hull material. the new hull was now 4mm back standing from the old one. we used this difference to apply more fibreglass there at the join. the boat was later over glassed with to layer 260gr double biox matt.

the job was not complicated. the owner had no wood work experience. I think we did a good job...

yes ralf, shit happens... yesterday 2 guy broke into our boat and stole a lot of stuff

 we are in the marina in Kuda, Malaysia, they emptied 4 other boat. i was sleeping in one side and they went throe the other hull. i feel like shit today but life goes on... in few weeks, you will smile again... me too

good luck



Gday Ralph,I dont know the full story yet as i have just dropped in for the first time in a while and was taken back by this topic and the photos that came up first.To keep things short i know of a story where K2 [photos on my page] went aground off Lombok [Indonesia]The owner found a suitable place on the north of the island and rebuilt one new hull.Some pieces from the hull were also salvageable.She now lies in Thialand.I Feel for you Ralph and im sure you will have a plan and Kavenga will be back on the sea before long.Sure can be character building this game.Best Dave.


 Gday Ralph,I see now it is both hulls. Two it is... 

Good idea, my friend, do again and I wanna see you in water in few months.

Ralf said:

Queridos amigos, estou sobrecarregado pelos bons desejos e idéias e que todos vocês que postaram ao longo dos últimos dias. Agradeço a todos pelo incentivo, isso significa muito para mim nesta situação. Ann e Nev, eu quero agradecer a você em particular, para tomar o tempo para postar sua idéia detalhada para reconstruir os cascos. Eu considerei-me algo semelhante, mas abandonou a idéia por causa do dano causado à casca superiores. Isto não é bem visível nas fotos mas havia algumas fissuras na linha de prumo e uma grande fenda através da antepara cabinside com o número 5 rachado, também. Cheguei à conclusão de que será melhor para construir dois cascos novos, a fim de ter um barco totalmente confiável e forte. Quando um homem que está a recolher peças para uma exposição em um museu marítimo veio e me ofereceu dinheiro para os dois cascos danificados, eu dei a ele. Isso eu não me arrependi até agora. O dinheiro vai cobrir para a madeira compensada, epóxi, vidro e madeira para construir dois cascos novos. E, sim, vou construir esses dois cascos novos, só precisa de um pouco de tempo para descobrir os detalhes.

Eu ainda tenho as três vigas principais, a quarta ré Crossbeam, cockpit, mastro, todas as escotilhas, 1 leme e um leme, tillerbar toda a engrenagem do barco como velas, cordas, blocos, alguns grampos, âncoras, motor, windvane, eletricidade etc sistema. Isto, na minha experiência representa 50% do tempo de construção e de 80% do dinheiro que entrou em KAVENGA. Seria um grande desperdício não construir dois cascos novos para toda a engrenagem que.

Agora eu preciso encontrar um galpão novo prédio se eu posso construir dois cascos ao mesmo tempo ao lado do outro o que era impossível no meu velho barracão. Em poucas semanas eu vou estar no meu caminho.

Mais uma coisa que eu quero dizer a você gente: Construa suas travessas e pontos de fixação a planta e você nunca terá que se preocupar com a estrutura geral de um Tiki 30. As vigas saiu isso sem um problema, eles são poderosos forte. Um projeto muito bom!

Obrigado novamente a todos vocês. É maravilhoso saber que você está lá, onde quer que esteja no mundo.


Good for you, Ralf.

I'm sure Kavenga II will be as beautiful and strong as her namesake.

Wishing you all the best - Bob

Sorry to read this sad story and "bon courage," Ralf, for rebuilding KAVENGA.

Fair winds,  - Chris

Ralf, in our bow we put a lot of Big cokes (PET), in an accident on the bow of the boat enters the water, but the buoyancy keeps

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